Inventing a New Language for Talking About Style
Culture Club and the New York City Ballet, for example, are great examples of styles that have emerged from new technologies. New York City Ballet’s style is defined by its ability to use new technologies to create a world-class ballet company. Culture Club, meanwhile, is the brainchild of the former CEO of Google who has since gone on to found a company that uses the technology to build businesses for billions of people. When a company is being built on a new technology, it does not just develop an app that will let it get a job done. It develops a culture that will enable it to build a business that is a model for other companies to follow. This is a lot harder to do than just an app. This is in part because there is a lot more to culture than just making apps. But when we use the term “culture” to talk about a business, it can feel like a bit of a stretch. In fact, many of the companies on our list are products of cultures that are still being built.
Google is not the only company to use a culture to develop an industry. For example, Apple started not as Apple, Inc., but as a small group of engineers and scientists, who then formed the first Macintosh computer company in a garage in Newton, Massachusetts. Steve Jobs took Apple to a Fortune 500 company, and over the next forty years the company has become one of the most valuable companies in the world. Apple’s success lies in the culture that was created at its creation. Steve Jobs and the core members of Apple formed a team of engineers that had no idea who they would become when they started. But as their employees, they worked tirelessly to make the company into a global brand and a successful business. They also created the Apple Genius Bar, the first in the world to use digital technology to diagnose and treat diseases. The culture that Steve Jobs created remains as strong today as it was 40 years ago.
Today, companies are often born from their cultures. If a culture is not